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Arts and Entertainment

Billy Corgan & Spirits in the Sky @ Hotel Cafe, 8/31/09

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Dave Navarro & Billy Corgan


Dave Navarro and Billy Corgan jamming at the Hotel Cafe

On Monday night, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and Spirits in the Sky -- germinated from the recent Sky Saxon tribute at The Echoplex, whose lineup includes guitarist Dave Navarro and 19 year old drummer Mike Byrne -- performed the final show of their mini tour at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood.

The six stop tour for the band across Central and Southern California at intimate venues included The Cellar Door in Visalia, Muddy Waters in Santa Barbara, {open} in Long Beach, Pappy and Harriet's Palace in Pioneertown, and the Che Cafe in San Diego. But the Hotel Cafe show featured a Halloween costume contest, a cameo by Sierra Swan on piano for a duet with Corgan of the Willie Nelson song "Willingly," as well as singer-songwriter Carina Round and photographer Kristin Burns in the audience. And with scalpers demanding as much as $500 for a pair of tickets, the line reportedly formed at 9:00 AM.

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"Super melodic songs, intense harmonies, layered guitars paired with a flute, violin, and percussionist," reported Jon from LA Snark. "This was a completely new and fresh experience, and you could tell by Billy's face while he performed that he was really into the songs. [After the costume contest] the set got heavy... Sure a solid 4/4 drum beat and some hard Ani Difranco strums can happen, but you don't hear detuned Gibson SG Black Sabathesque riff rock in this little room. Til tonight folks. If it was even possible that anyone wasn't into to [the] harmony filled first half of the night, the second doom n' gloom set brought what you came out to see, and that too, was pretty awesome."

"So, whose dick is bigger?" asked Dani Katz from the LA Weekly. "It's hard to say, really. I propose it's a matter of style: Corgan quite literally wills his guitar to make magic with a combination of mind-bending brilliance and balls; Navarro, animated by frenetic grace and a couple extra helpings of sex appeal, teases, licks, flicks, slaps and grinds his particular array of sounds out of his - ahem - member, with an extra dash of showmanship, and a pinch of false modesty thrown in for kicks."

But all good things must come to an end, and Navarro tweeted afterwards that "I am really going to miss Spirits in the Sky. Thank you @studiodog @Billy @lindastrawberry for one of the best weeks of my life. Sincerely."

Special thanks to Billy Corgan, Dave Navarro, Spirits in the Sky, and Hotel Cafe.